Many Wireless Customers in Canada Underwhelmed by Network Reliability and Speed, J.D. Power Finds
Bell Mobility and TELUS Mobility Rank Highest in Ontario; Videotron Ranks Highest in Eastern Region; TELUS Mobility Ranks Highest in Western Region
Although the overall performance of Canada’s wireless networks remains flat year over year with an average of 9 PP100 (problems per 100 connections), a significant portion of customers say performance was not up to par, according to the J.D. Power 2021 Canada Wireless Network Quality Study,SM released today. Only 67% of wireless customers agree that their carrier’s network is reliable when streaming music and videos, activities that account for a significant amount of time used on devices. In addition, just 7% of customers say network speeds are faster than expected.
“Despite massive investments in infrastructure and technology, customers remain relatively unimpressed by their carriers’ wireless networks,” said Adrian Chung, director of the technology, media & telecom practice at J.D. Power Canada. “Customers perceive the quality and performance of the wireless networks mainly as fair and meeting expectations. More specifically, network strength is associated with traditional functionality like calling and texting rather than browsing and streaming, presenting a clear reliability gap that carriers need to bridge.”
This reliability gap should serve as a red flag for carriers, especially because browsing and streaming account for nearly half (49%) of the time that customers say they spend on their mobile phones.
Following are additional key findings of the 2021 study:
- Data hungry: The past year has seen an increased need to stay connected and more customers in Canada are beefing up their wireless plans. Nearly one-fourth (24%) of wireless customers indicate their wireless plan includes 10GB of data or more—up from 20% in 2020. Furthermore, the percentage of customers this year who say they have an unlimited data plan is 17%, up from 11% in 2020. At the same time, 14% acknowledge they exceeded their plan’s data allowance in the past six months.
- 5G has high awareness, low conversion: With so much attention being paid to 5G technology coming to Canada, wireless carriers still face the challenge of shifting customers from awareness to action. While a vast majority (89%) of wireless customers have heard of 5G and 60% expect data speeds to be higher, only 7% say they’re willing to pay more to be on this advanced network.
- Browsing, entertainment dominate phone usage: When asked about phone usage during the past 48 hours, customers say they spent an average of 57 minutes browsing and 46 minutes on video and music streaming, a much higher proportion than calling (average of 34 minutes) or texting (average of 31 minutes).
Bell Mobility and TELUS Mobility rank highest in a tie for wireless network quality in Ontario with 8 PP100 each.
In the East region, Videotron ranks highest with 5 PP100. Rogers Wireless and TELUS Mobility rank second in a tie, each with 6 PP100. The East Region consists of the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
In the West Region, TELUS Mobility ranks highest with 8 PP100. Rogers Wireless (9 PP100) ranks second and SaskTel (10 PP100) ranks third. The West Region consists of the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and Yukon Territory.
The 2021 Canada Wireless Network Quality Study was conducted online in English and French. The study, which measures problems per 100 connections (PP100), includes four wireless carriers in the East Region, four wireless carriers in Ontario, and six wireless carriers in the West Region. The study is based on 9,498 respondents and was fielded in February-March 2021.
For more information about the Canada Wireless Network Quality Study, visit https://canada.jdpower.com/tmt/canada-wireless-network-quality-study.
About J.D. Power
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world's leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.
J.D. Power is headquartered in Troy, Mich., and has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more about the company’s business offerings, visit JDPower.com/business.
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